Echodrone — Five

Saint Marie |
A towering wall of white-hot sound.

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Forgoing lyrics and letting instruments speak for themselves is hardly a novel concept. From the elaborately braided instrumental works of Bach and Mozart to more modern and far knottier efforts of Jon Hopkins and Aphex Twin, musicians since time immemorial have taken advantage of certain simple facts relating to the human condition. Engaging the mind with clever, witty wordplay is one thing; tapping into raw emotions is quite another.

This is the impetus behind the genre of shoegaze. Though arranged for instruments similar to rock music, the two could not be more different. Rock bands rely on charisma, on magnetism, on personality. Shoegazers actively disengage from their audience, often avoiding eye contact altogether. They seek not conscious engagement, but a primal reaction from the reptilian hindbrain.

And what an album Echodrone have crafted.

Five is a towering wall of white hot sound, spitting and flickering and snarling. It is possessed of its own will and desires independent of its creator.

It is alive, in a way that music centered around a single person can never be.